Front row L to R: Ryan Sharp, Isabella Greco, Reid Pinckard, Madeline Tumey-Simmons, Merlin Cardona / Back row L to R: Taylor Hubbs, Connelly Cowan, Taryn Thurman, coach Enrique Martinez, Anthony OrellanaContact: Kelly Cowan
MPHS Speech and Debate team members advance to nationals
After two weekends competing against nineteen other East Texas teams at the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) District Tournament, the Mount Pleasant High School Speech and Debate came away with overall Team Sweepstakes, Debate Team Sweepstakes, 2nd place Speech Team, and Student of the Year awards, with six team members qualifying for the National Tournament and one 1st alternate.
The National Qualifying tournaments were virtually February 26-27 and March 5-6.
They divide the National Speech and Debate Association into 111 districts. Each NSDA District has the opportunity to name a District Student of the Year award, presented to a graduating senior who best represents the tenets of the Association’s Code of Honor: humility, equity, integrity, respect, leadership, and service. Nominees must also demonstrate strong academic credentials and a commitment to the speech and debate community. Senior Reid Pinckard was named the NSDA UIL District Student of the Year, the first such award for MP Speech and Debate. He is a four-year member of Mount Pleasant Speech and Debate and a three-time National Qualifier.
In Cross-Examination Debate, senior Taryn Thurman and junior Connelly Cowan claimed one of four qualifying spots out of 18 entries. It will be their third appearance at the national tournament. In 2019, they finished in the top 58 out of 180 teams at Nationals. And in 2020, they finished in the top 52 out of 192 teams.
In the Lincoln Douglas debate, MPHS took two of the four qualifying spots. Pinckard will be making his 3rd appearance at the national tournament. In 2019 he competed in Extemporaneous Speaking, Extemp Debate, and Impromptu Speaking, making it into the top 90 competitors in Impromptu. He also competed in Lincoln Douglas Debate in 2020. Sophomore Anthony Orellana will be making his first appearance at Nationals in Lincoln Douglas Debate.
In Extemporaneous Speaking, senior Isabella Greco was one of the top four speakers out of 51 entries in US Extemp and will make her 2nd appearance at the national level. Junior Taylor Hubbs was one of the top 4 speakers in International Extemp and will also make her second appearance at the national tournament. Both Greco and Hubbs competed at nationals in World Schools Debate in 2020.
Senior Ryan Sharp qualified for Nationals in Humorous Interpretation and will make his 2nd appearance at the National tournament. Sharp competed in World Schools Debate with teammates Greco and Hubbs in 2020.
Sophomore Madeline Tumey-Simmons earned a first alternate spot in Dramatic Interpretation and may compete if a qualifier cannot attend.
The online NSDA National tournament will be June 13-19, 2021. Enrique Martinez coaches MPHS Speech and Debate.
The Child Development Center with Mt. Pleasant ISD is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year. The CDC serves children 0-5 years old in high-quality preschool classrooms, as well as pregnant mothers.
Applications may be picked up at the Child Development Center at 1602 West Ferguson Road or printed at www.mpisd.net/cdc/. The CDC serves Titus County children from 6:30 am- 5:30 pm Monday-Friday. Call 903-575-2092 for more information.